Tiger King

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20 Things To Watch If You Loved Tiger King

If you’re still posting memes and reading everything you can about Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin, and the colorful characters of the quarantine mega-hit Tiger King, you might be looking for your next off-the-rails true-crime fix. Not much can match the wild episodic documentary series following America’s eccentric “big cat” owners, but this list should scratch your itch for more mayhem.

If you’re looking for more twists you won’t see coming – which you got in basically every episode of Tiger King – we have the documentaries Tickled and Evil Genius for you. At first glance, Tickled looks to be a curious documentary about “competitive tickling,” while Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist seems like a clever whodunnit investigation of a bizarre bank robbery/murder. In both cases, though, you will be shocked on multiple occasions before the credits roll – these movies are not what you think.

Netflix’s Don’t F**k With Cats and HBO’s I Love You, Now Die have a similar vibe to Tiger King, in some ways, but the stories are more somber and even more disturbing. If it’s the unbelievable true-crime aspect of the doc that had you hooked, also check out Conversations With a Killer, or Voyeur.  

We didn’t limit our picks to docs: narrative films with big plot twists can also fill your Tiger King void. If by chance you haven’t seen or read anything about Sunshine, Cabin in the Woods, or Moon, these three sci-fi/horror movies go places you won’t expect and provide the juicy shock value you’re looking for. Trust us and please don’t read anything before you see them – it’s worth it.

If you are looking for more bizarre/non-traditional love stories, check out the documentary Crazy Love, ’80s rom-com Maude + Micki, HBO’s 2000s polygamy drama Big Love, or the criminally underrated Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. Meanwhile, the Johnny Knoxville-produced documentary The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia is not about romance, but it does center on a family (“The Whites”) that would feel right at home with Joe Exotic and this cavalcade of eccentric friends. It’s a unique insight into an oft-overlooked part of America and avoids caricature. (And the music is great.)

Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin was none too pleased with her portrayal on Tiger King. A vocal critic of the private ownership of big cats, Baskin assumed she was participating in an exposé documentary like the Oscar-nominated Blackfish, which focused on a killer whale at SeaWorld and the question of whether such creatures should be held in captivity. If you felt Tiger King should have dived a bit deeper into the animal abuse aspect of its story, Blackfish would be the one to check out along with The Cove, which documents dolphin hunting in Japan. Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man is another animal-focused doc to add to your queue – it’s not about abuse but centers on an eccentric animal enthusiast.

Speaking of eccentricity… There are plenty of compelling documentaries and features about cult-like leaders who attract bands of loyal followers. If you’re looking for more stories like that, with insights into the appeal of certain personalities, try Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Believe, Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic feature The Master (partly inspired by Scientology’s founder), and The Queen of Versailles (the less we tell you, the better).

For now, though, devote yourselves to this guide and check out 20 films and shows we think Tiger King fans will love.

#13

Tickled (2016)
94%

#13
Adjusted Score: 97.852%
Critics Consensus: Tickled uses an investigation into a silly-seeming subculture as the launching point for thought-provoking insights into online bullying and the destructive abilities of the internet.
Synopsis: After stumbling upon a bizarre "competitive endurance tickling" video online, wherein young men are paid to be tied up and... [More]
Directed By: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve

Adjusted Score: 81.41%
Critics Consensus: Evil Genius makes up for a lack of conviction and nuance with an intriguing sense of discovery and plenty of entertaining insanity.
Synopsis: In 2003 in Erie, Pennsylvania, a robbery gone wrong and a terrifying public murder capture the nation's attention, and a... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Barbara Schroeder

#11

The Master (2012)
85%

#11
Adjusted Score: 94.607%
Critics Consensus: Smart and solidly engrossing, The Master extends Paul Thomas Anderson's winning streak of challenging films for serious audiences.
Synopsis: A striking portrait of drifters and seekers in post World War II America, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master unfolds the... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#10

Blackfish (2013)
98%

#10
Adjusted Score: 102.679%
Critics Consensus: Blackfish is an aggressive, impassioned documentary that will change the way you look at performance killer whales.
Synopsis: Magnolia Pictures invites you and a guest to attend an advance screening of BLACKFISH, an eye-opening documentary directed by Gabriela... [More]

#9

Grizzly Man (2005)
92%

#9
Adjusted Score: 96.5%
Critics Consensus: Whatever opinion you come to have of the obsessive Treadwell, Herzog has once again found a fascinating subject.
Synopsis: This documentary centers on amateur grizzly bear expert Timothy Treadwell, who periodically journeyed to Alaska to study and live with... [More]
Directed By: Werner Herzog

Adjusted Score: 98.539%
Critics Consensus: Director Erin Lee Carr expertly blends journalistic edge and empathy in I Love You, Now Die to create a concise, compelling, and refreshingly exploitation-free exploration of a complicated crime.
Synopsis: After 18-year-old Conrad Roy killed himself in his car in Fairhaven, Mass., police discovered text messages in which his girlfriend,... [More]
Starring:

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 98.905%
Critics Consensus: The Queen of Versailles is a timely, engaging, and richly drawn portrait of the American Dream improbably composed of equal parts compassion and schadenfreude.
Synopsis: The Queen of Versailles is a character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of... [More]
Directed By: Lauren Greenfield

#6

The Cove (2009)
95%

#6
Adjusted Score: 98.912%
Critics Consensus: Though decidedly one-sided, The Cove is an impeccably crafted, suspenseful expose of the covert slaughter of dolphins in Japan.
Synopsis: In the 1960s, Richard O'Barry enjoyed a lucrative career as a specialized animal trainer; he captured the five dolphins that... [More]
Directed By: Louie Psihoyos

#20

Micki + Maude (1984)
70%

#20
Adjusted Score: 65.287%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Blake Edwards' farce with Dudley Moore as a frenetically expectant father---with two pregnant wives (Amy Irving, Ann Reinking). Leo: Richard... [More]
Directed By: Blake Edwards

#19
Adjusted Score: 97.902%
Critics Consensus: Thoroughly disquieting but impossible to ignore, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a searing investigative work from a master documentarian.
Synopsis: Directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney and based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright, Going Clear profiles... [More]
Directed By: Alex Gibney

Big Love: Season 1 (2006)
71%

#18
Adjusted Score: 73.243%
Critics Consensus: It has a bawdy premise, but Big Love presents a sympathetic view of a complex family relationship.
Synopsis: Meet the Henricksons. They're the typical suburban American family, occupied with hectic schedules and bills to pay, as well as... [More]

#17

Moon (2009)
90%

#17
Adjusted Score: 96.128%
Critics Consensus: Boosted by Sam Rockwell's intense performance, Moon is a compelling work of science-fiction, and a promising debut from director Duncan Jones.
Synopsis: An astronaut miner extracting the precious moon gas that promises to reverse the Earth's energy crisis nears the end of... [More]
Directed By: Duncan Jones

#16

Sunshine (2007)
76%

#16
Adjusted Score: 81.504%
Critics Consensus: Danny Boyle continues his descent into mind-twisting sci-fi madness, taking us along for the ride. Sunshine fulfills the dual requisite necessary to become classic sci-fi: dazzling visuals with intelligent action.
Synopsis: As the sun begins to dim along with humankind's hope for the future, it's up to a desperate crew of... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

Adjusted Score: 57.189%
Critics Consensus: Laced with troubling irony, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes skirts introspection, making it just as elusive as its subject.
Synopsis: On the 30th anniversary of his Florida execution, CONVERSATIONS WITH A KILLER: THE TED BUNDY TAPES brings the infamously twisted... [More]
Starring:

#5

Crazy Love (2007)
79%

#5
Adjusted Score: 81.405%
Critics Consensus: Crazy Love's subjects and story are so compelling that they overcome the doc's dry, talking heads format.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Dan Klores recounts the true story of one of the most bizarre romances of the 20th century in this... [More]
Directed By: Dan Klores, Fisher Stevens

#4
Adjusted Score: 94.225%
Critics Consensus: Professor Marston & The Wonder Women winds a lasso of cinematic truth around a fascinating fact-based tale with strong performances from its three stars.
Synopsis: In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, the film is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist... [More]
Directed By: Angela Robinson

#3
Adjusted Score: 22.16%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Drop in for a visit with one of West Virginia's most notorious families in this audacious documentary from director Julien... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Julien Nitzberg

Adjusted Score: 67.051%
Critics Consensus: Don't F**k With Cats offers an intriguing tale, but questionable intent and muddled storytelling make it a hard sell for anyone but true crime completists.
Synopsis: A twisted criminal's gruesome videos drive a group of amateur online sleuths to launch a risky manhunt that pulls them... [More]
Starring:

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 102.991%
Critics Consensus: The Cabin in the Woods is an astonishing meta-feat, capable of being funny, strange, and scary -- frequently all at the same time.
Synopsis: Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story,... [More]
Directed By: Drew Goddard

#1

Voyeur (2017)
79%

#1
Adjusted Score: 79.333%
Critics Consensus: Absorbing, unpredictable, and overall compelling, Voyeur is a singularly unusual -- and utterly memorable -- documentary experience.
Synopsis: Gerald Foos bought a motel in Colorado in the 1960s, furnished the room with louvered vents that allowed him to... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Myles Kane, Josh Koury

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